Interview with Committee Member and Club Coach "Barry Doyle"

1. When did you join Athenry FC? What roles have you had?
- I joined about 6 years ago when my son Eoin started with the Academy. Not having been involved in soccer for a long time I started coaching the Academy boys and I have stayed with that group of boys as they have progressed through the age groups in both leading and assistant coaching roles. In the time I have worked with various other coaches including Colm Branagan, Kevin Brett, Chris Moore, Pete McDonald and Cormac McCarthy, all very committed individuals who have given a lot to the club over the years.
I have been a member of the club executive Committee for a period of 2 years also.

2. As a player what are your fondest memories?
- As a 'blow-in' I never played with Athenry FC. I played soccer mainly as a school boy as well as a bit with Rush Athletic and after that I stuck mainly to the Gaelic aside of course from various 5 a side kick arounds etc. over the years. No major achievements therefore to brag about but I loved soccer as a kid and as someone who grew up abroad it definitly is an international language of its own and has helped me settle in no matter where I have lived.

3. As a coach what do you enjoy the most?
- With Athenry FC I have only coached children. Its been great to see them develop over the years into serious footballers, with their own dreams and objectives. Put simply I enjoy seeing them fulfilling their potential, improving their skills and fitness, their self confidence and playing good football. I also enjoy the commraderie and respect that team sports develop. Boys from many different backgrounds coming together as a team.

4. What made you decide to join the Committee?
- Having been involved with the club for a number of years as a coach I have seen the dedication and hard work from what is basically a small number of volunteers that keeps the club up and running. My son Eoin and daughter Mia have both got alot out of the club over the years and I basically felt it was my turn to help out and contribute a bit. I never ceases to surprise me how much effort is put into the club by a few club officers and coaches (all volunteers) on top of their own personal and professional commitments. It is something that I feel the majority of members are maybe unaware of, and this is demonstrated annually with poor attendances at the AGM. The club has gone from strength to strength but to continue to develop it needs new poeple to come forward with new energy and new ideas. The more involved the less the burden on any one individual.

5. As a Committee member what is the hardest part?
- Getting the time to follow up on any actions between meetings is generally the hardest part based on other commitments, however once everyone does their bit its all generally very manageable.

6. What do you enjoy most about being on the Committee?
- I generally enjoy the meetings as you learn a lot about the different aspects and complexity of keeping a club the size of Athenry running. The current Committee is excellent and have really taken a big picture view in terms of investing in the clubs future with the clubs current development plan. With the recent work done to secure valuable grant funding this project is now becoming a reality that will benefit the young people of Athenry for many years to come.

7. Can you name three of your most memorable moments with the Club?
Being crowned U12 league 1 champions last season.
Running Sheffied Utd U12 close (lost 1 - 0) in the 2019 Belfast Cup.
Winning the Regional U12 SFAI Cup this season.

8. What are your ambitions for the next three years?
- Very hard to say how the next 3 years will go. To see some of the current batch of our U12 players progressing to play with Galway and Regional Development teams and LOI teams would be great and something for Athenry FC to be proud of. Personally I hope to continue to develop as a Coach.

Thank you,
@athenry_afc / #athenry_afc